|“It’s better to prevent a disease than to treat it.”
Not only is this a statement of good, common sense, it’s also the key to a healthy community. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that once were common – polio, measles, diphtheria, whopping cough, German measles, mumps, tetanus and Haemophilus influenza B. While these diseases are near a record low in the United States, the viruses and bacteria that cause them still exist. Even diseases that are nearly nonexistent in this country are only a plane ride away. Once contracted, these diseases can be passed on to people who are not protected. To help prevent disease, your county health department offers immunization services for infants, children, adolescents and adults.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health participates in the Vaccines for Children Program, which allows Garfield County Health Department to provide immunizations free of charge to low income individuals, Native Americans, or those whose insurance does not cover the cost of immunizations.
We provide all childhood immunizations to children birth through 18 years of age.
Vaccines are among our safest and most reliable medicines. Every year, they prevent countless serious illnesses and thousands of deaths from measles, polio, diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), mumps, rubella (German measles), pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza B, hepatitis A, and varicella (chicken pox). About 100 million doses are given annually in the United States, most of them to infants and children as part of their routine immunizations.
A single dose of some vaccines gives nearly complete protection. With others, a series of doses spread over months, or years, is needed for the best result. There is no charge for children’s shots.
Vaccines, like many other medicines, can cause side effects. These are usually mild and brief. Very rarely are they serious. It is important for anyone getting a vaccine, or for the parents of children receiving a vaccine, to know what the vaccine is, what its benefits are, and what risks, if any, it has.
Beginning on July 10, 2014, Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) began accepting private insurance for payment of adult and child immunizations. Please present a copy of your photo ID and current insurance card at check-in. A claim will be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement, and you will be notified with a statement from OSDH of your responsibility for any co-pays, deductibles, or charges that are denied by your insurance company. Some sliding scale fees may apply. Payment is not required for services. Please do not allow your inability to pay restrict future visits.
Influenza (Flu) Shot Information
Garfield County Health Department will provide flu shots, typically starting in late September on a walk-in basis during normal business hours. Please contact us for availability.
Flu vaccine will be available for anyone who wants to be protected from influenza. The shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Persons at high risk of serious complications from flu are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine, including pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease, or other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies less than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, should also get the vaccine. For more information on flu and the flu shot click here
For more information about immunizations call Garfield County Health Department at (580)233-0650.
The Oklahoma Immunization Law
Oklahoma's Immunization Act (10.2k.pdf) was passed by the state legislature in 1970. It requires all students to meet immunization requirements before they enter or attend any public or private school in the state. The law states that the Oklahoma State Board of Health will establish the regulations specifying which vaccines and how many doses of each vaccine are required.
The current immunization requirements as specified by the State Board of Health are the: Oklahoma Immunization Regulations (24k.pdf).
The regulations specify in detail:
- What vaccines are required,
- How many doses of each vaccine are required,
- The minimum intervals of time that are needed between doses and the minimum ages for vaccine doses,
- How parents or guardians can obtain an exemption to a vaccine for their child, and
- What is needed to document immunity to a disease.
The Oklahoma State Board of Health changes the regulations when new vaccines become available and as old vaccines are no longer needed because the diseases have been controlled or eliminated.
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Why We Need School Immunization Laws
- Vaccination of school-age children is one of the most important ways we can protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Outbreaks of diseases such as polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps, and rubella were common occurrences in schools before vaccines were available.
- In 1980 an outbreak of measles in Oklahoma resulted in 775 cases of measles and one death. The majority of the measles cases occurred in school-aged children,
- Some children, for medical reasons, such as compromised immune systems, cannot receive all vaccines. These children must rely on the community to help protect them from exposure to these diseases by community wide vaccination.
- School vaccine requirements ensure that most people are protected through immunization.
- Since contagious diseases spread among susceptible people, vaccination reduces the chance of infection and outbreaks in schools and communities by reducing the number of unprotected people.
- Watch an animation demonstrating herd immunity at this web site: History of Vaccines.
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Q: Where can I find a copy of my child's shot record?
A: Records of immunizations can be found at the clinic or doctor's office where your child received shots, schools the child has attended and sometimes the county health department will have a copy of the record.
Q: Why should we immunize against diseases we rarely see?
A: We need to immunize against diseases we rarely see because they still occur in other parts of the world and if we stop vaccinating the diseases will come back.
Q: Will my child have any side effects from vaccines?
A: Most children have no side effects after receiving vaccines, however, some side effects are considered normal, such as mild pain, redness and swelling at the site where the shot is given. However, vaccines like any medicine can cause serious problems such as allergic reactions, although these are very rare.
Q: Is it safe for my baby to receive all of these vaccines at one time?
A: Yes, babies' immune systems can handle much more than they are exposed to with several vaccinations on the same day
Q: What if we get behind on the schedule?
A: You do not have to start over. Simply make an appointment and pick up the schedule where you left off.
Q: Can I take my child to any County Health Department to get their vaccinations?
A: Yes, you can take your child to any County Health Department in Oklahoma to get their vaccinations. If your child has health insurance or not their vaccinations can be given at your local County Health Department.